Why Buy Local?

Why Buy Local?

Eating local food helps nourish our families and communities and is an integral component of
Good Food food that is: affordable, accessible, culturally relevant, fresh, minimally processed,
grown as local as possible, ecologically produced, all within sustainable livelihoods.

There are many reasons why people in the Algonquin/Ottawa region support our
local food system and food producers (farmers, ranchers, harvesters, fishers, processors):

Form closer relationships with your food and those who grow/raise/gather/process it.

    • Buying directly from food producers allows for greater transparency
      and accountability in the producer-eater relationship.
    • Food producers, especially those closer to urban areas, are recognizing
      the growing demand of eaters, and shifting production to meet the
      growing interest in local food (1).

Support more sustainable foods

    • Supporting local food means supporting more small to medium scale
      producers, who tend to be more sustainable land stewards.
    • Promotes seasonal and produce-oriented diets.
    • Reduces your food miles.
    • Results in less waste from shorter supply chains (2,3)

Enjoy fresher foods and their health benefits

    • Eating local food means eating fresher foods which are often tastier
      and more nutritious than their industrial and imported counterparts
    • Local eating promotes incorporating more produce into your diet,
      a key component of health.

Support the local economy

    • Buying local food, especially from farmers’ markets, CSAs, independent retailers,
      and micro-processors stimulates the local food economy (4).
    • If half of Ottawa’s households spent $10 more per month on local food,
      this would increase support to local food producers by $27.7 million within a year!
        • (461,990 households/2) x $10 x 12 months= $27.7 million.

We recognize the greater costs that can often be associated with buying local food.
This is especially true in the post COVID-19 inflation climate where buying any food,
let alone local food, can be difficult for many Ottawa region residents who are facing
increasing food insecurity challenges (5). Just Food and partners are supporting
non-profit efforts to make local food more accessible Community Gardening Network,
Plant-a-Row-Share, Share-a-Row, and Good Food Box.

Sources and Additional Resources: 
    1. Canada’s farms are adjusting the ways they sell their products to consumers 
    2.  Are Small Farms Better? | Sustainability Community.
    3. How can buying locally benefit the environment? | UW Food Services | University of Waterloo 
    4.  The Local Food Movement: Definitions, Benefits & Resources  
    5.  REPORT 2023 Nutritious Food Basket and Food Insecurity in Ottawa